Most helpful critical review
A lot duller than her other novels
on 1 September 2011
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Nora Roberts, particularly some of her earlier novels which have been really fantastic. She's usually my `go to' author if I want easy to read romance as I know that despite the more stupid names she picks for her protagonists (seriously, I'm not joking, some of the names she sticks them with are AWFUL), her stories will be interesting and well written.
I have to say though that I don't think her strength lies in writing *paranormal* romantic fiction; I've read the `Sign of Seven' trilogy of books and to me, this first book in the `Circle' trilogy was very reminiscent of that (only a bit more magical), with two dimensional characters and a bit of a same-same plot line- dreams, visions and a bit of blood spilled before a group of people join together to ward off the impending apocalypse. Then again, I suppose there's only so much that can be written about the fight of good vs. evil, isn't there? I did actually appreciate this as a fairly decent spin on the whole vampire thing and it wasn't quite as cheesy as Twilight at least. My main issue was that I felt I'd read the whole thing before- and quite possibly I am also getting a bit fed up of vampire novels!
I won't summarise the story as that has already been done more than adequately and I did find this book a fairly entertaining way to pass a few hours. Some of the characters were portrayed as more interesting than others but I did think that Hoyt the Sorcerer (come on, who calls a sorcerer `Hoyt?!') was poorly written considering he was meant to be the main protagonist. I suppose that's my main quibble with this story- I really didn't care about the characters very much or if they got attacked by Vamps or not! The sexual chemistry between him and good witch Glenna was also a little bit lacking- NR usually writes really convincing romance but this wasn't the case here.
Needless to say, I do have books two and three of this set ready and waiting (charity shop buy) and I'm hoping this will only get better as the story does plod along fairly easily, though I'm not exactly in a mad rush to read them. My personal recommendation: if you're a first time NR reader don't start with this series- go for one of her standalone books instead; `Blue Smoke' or `Angel Falls' would be a good place to start.